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Russia, US could reach Syria cooperation deal soon: Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin said in an interview aired Friday that Moscow and Washington could reach a cooperation deal on Syria soon.

Russia, US could-AV

“In my opinion we’re gradually heading in the right direction and I don’t exclude that we’ll be able to agree on something in the near future and present our agreements to the international community,” Putin said in an interview.

Russian and American officials are holding negotiations in Geneva aimed at reestablishing a ceasefire in Syria and cooperating militarily against the Islamic State and other jihadist groups in the country.

“The talks are very difficult,” Putin said.

“One of the key problems is that we insist, and our American partners do not object to this, that the so-called healthy part of the opposition should be separated from the radical groups and terrorist organisations such as Jabhat Al-Nusra.”

Keen to solve Japan island row

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Moscow was keen to resolve a territorial dispute with Japan ahead of talks on September 2 with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, although a solution appears far off.

Tokyo-Moscow relations are hamstrung by a row dating back to the end of World War II when Soviet troops seized the southernmost islands in the Pacific Kuril chain, known as the Northern Territories in Japan.

“We are not talking about some kind of exchange or some kind of sale,” Putin said.

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